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Erik Agard

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Erik Agard
Personal information
Born1993 (age 30–31)
Country United States
SportCruciverbalism, Other puzzling
Achievements and titles
National finals2018: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament Champion

Erik Agard (born 1993) is a crossword solver, constructor, and editor. He is the winner of the 2016 Lollapuzzoola Express Division, the 2018 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), a frequent contributor to the New York Times crossword puzzle, a crossword constructor for The New Yorker, the former USA Today crossword editor, and a former Jeopardy! contestant. He is currently a crossword editor at Apple News+.[1]

He was described by the Washington Post in 2013 as "the nation's top teen crossword puzzle solver."[2] He has been celebrated for helping to increase diversity and inclusion in crosswords:[3] the puzzles that he edited at USA Today were primarily constructed by women and people of color, and contain references to pieces of media and culture that other mainstream outlets do not consider "standard knowledge".[4] For instance, the February 19, 2022 crossword puzzle contained the clue ["you're telling me a cis ___ built this chapel?" (@RileyJohnSavage tweet)] for the entry TEEN.[5]

During his appearance on Jeopardy!, his use of a meme in answer to a question gained widespread notice. After beating 5-time champion Alan Dunn, he won $66,802 over the course of four appearances.[6][7]

In 2018, Agard was featured on a Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel segment about crossword puzzles. [8]


  1. ^ "Erik Agard". LinkedIn. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  2. ^ Manuel Roig Franzia (September 2, 2013). "Shy Marylander is nation's top teen crossword puzzle solver". Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Katy Steinmetz (August 3, 2020). "The Crossword Revolution Is Upon Us". Time. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  4. ^ Natan Last (March 18, 2020). "The Hidden Bigotry of Crosswords". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  5. ^ "February 19, 2022". February 19, 2022. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  6. ^ Raisa Bruner (October 23, 2018). "Jeopardy Contestant Plays the Game of Life So Well That He Answered With a Meme". Time. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "Who Is a Terp Puzzle Master?". Maryland Today. October 25, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "Will Shortz & the Puzzling Sport of Crosswords". HBO. May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2024.

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